tv DW News PBS December 29, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm PST
♪ christopher: hello and welcome. this is dw news in berlin. the obama administration/sanctions -- slaps sanctions on russia. 35 russian diplomats are being expelled from united states for alleged interference in the november vote and two compounds owned by the russian government are also being closed. we will go live to washington for more. also on the program, moscow says the government opposition groups have agreed on a nationwide truce that is due to go into effect at midnight local time. russia and turkey say they will guarantee a cease-fire will
analyze its changes of success. german authorities release a man suspected of being an accomplice of anis amri. the prime suspect in last week's terror attack in berlin. officials also confirmed that amri pledged allegiance to the islamic state in the months before the drove a truck into a crowded christmas market. ♪ christopher: my name is christopher springer. good to have you with us. in the u.s., the obama administration has imposed a series of sanctions on russia, including the expulsion of 35 diplomats and the shutting down of two russian compounds in maryland and new york. the sanctions come amid allegations of russian interference in the u.s. presidential election campaign. russian hackers are alleged to have obtained and leaked
information that damaged hillary clinton in a bid to favor donald trump. russia says the sanctions are counterproductive and will hamper the restoration of bilateral ties. let's go straight to washington to our correspondent. give us a little bit more detail on the sanctions and on how much of a blow they will be for russian intelligence activities on u.s. territory. >> i don't know how many spies the russians have here in the u.s. but this is definitely going to hurt russia. the united states is going to expel 35 russian diplomats and close two russian compounds in new york and very close to washington, maryland, in response to a campaign of harassment against american diplomats in moscow and interference in the u.s. elections. we expected this decision to
come today, and the diplomats have to leave the u.s. in 72 hours. that is the time that has been given to diplomats when something like that happens. it feels a little bit like the cold war, doesn't it? we will probably see a tit for tat. i expect russia to expel american diplomats as well. this is going to happen soon. i also expect some kind of action by the nsa but i do not think we will hear a lot about it in the news. i just read an obama statement that this is not going to be everything, these actions, meaning the russians are not the sum total of response to russia's aggressive activities. we will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing. we will maybe see more sanctions in the days and hours to come. christopher: what about the background to all this?
do we know whether the obama administration has conclusive proof about these hacking allegations, these russian hacking allegations? >> i have not seen any proof yet. what i heard is that there will be a report given to congress. the obama administration is in a very difficult situation right now. they cannot tolerate a foreign power, russia or china, trying to interfere in the u.s. elections, but they also cannot say openly what their sources are. they have to find a balance, they have to protect their sources. this is quite a difficult task for the obama administration right now. christopher: just briefly, donald trump, the president-elect will be assuming office in january. is he going to maintain the sanctions? has he said anything? >> i have not seen any reactions
from donald trump yet but think he probably does not like those new sanctions, additional sanctions against russia. it will be very hard for him to undo them for a very simple reason, because there are many republican senators -- just to wench in -- to mention one, senator mccain -- who are very much in favor of sanctions against russia. if you want to undo sanctions you probably need to republican party for it. i do not think that donald trump can count on senator mccain, lindsey graham and other people who are part of the republican party in the senate and they want to -- they want even stronger sanctions against russia. christopher: many thanks for that. turning to other news, the russian, turkish and syrian governments have announced that
it nationwide cease-fire in syria to begin at midnight local time, in about two hours from now. russian president vladimir putin says russia and turkey support opposing sides in the conflict will guarantee the truce. to be followed by peace talks between opposition groups and the government of the syrian president. damascus says some 60,000 rebels are included in the agreement. reporter: after almost six years and 300,000 dead, syria is a country destroyed by war. russian and turkish authorities today announced they had reached a nationwide cease-fire agreement. on friday, guns across syria are supposed to fall silent. >> the agreements reached are of course fragile and need special attention and involvement for their preservation and development. but nevertheless, this is a notable result of our joint work, efforts by the defense and foreign ministries, and our
partners in the region. reporter: putin has supported assad throughout the war. including selling weapons and using aerial strikes to back the army. turkish officials, who supported anti-assad forces, said they would help guarantee the cease-fire. >> we have an opportunity to stop the bloodshed in syria with a political solution. we must not squander this chance. this is an historic chance. this window of opportunity should not be wasted. reporter: the free syrian army also told reporters they will abide by the cease-fire. peace talks are scheduled for next month in the capital of cassock stand -- kazakstan. until now, all attempts to go ship's cessation of hostilities has failed. christopher: let's get some
analysis on this from daniel, a frequent guest of ours. editor in chief of zenith magazine. this is the third national cease-fire agreed in syria this year. the first two did not go very far. they fell apart fairly quickly. what about this one? daniel: the interesting thing is the nature of the patrons and those that are participating. i have to say i have not seen the document. even our russian sources, our arabic sources have not seen the document. it is being kept under wraps. there is a list being published by the russian minister of defense, who allegedly is participating in the cease-fire. this is interesting. first of all, the patrons are in turkey and russia, which is different from previous cease-fires where it was a deal between the united states and russia. turkey aa regional power and a in the batefield.cve onhether h have russia as a protector of the syrianreg. the name of the groups that are involved is interesting because
we have groups that have been called terrorist groups previously by russia and the syrian regime, and now i can see that they are trying to dissect these groups from what is called the infamous al qaeda affiliate syria and the so-called islamic state. that is a step which i think is interesting because they claimed these groups are participating, they have subscribed to it even though sources say they have signed whatever document, but we have no confirmation from them. but that is an interesting step. christopher: where do you think the initiative for that step has come from? daniel: the russians have never denied that when the terms for a political solution, the terms for a cease-fire are in their favor, in favor of the syrian regime, then they are heading for a cease-fire and for a political solution, as they say. this deal with turkey is interesting because we see a conversion of interests here. russia and turkey were hostile, previously in the syrian conflict to each other.
but the syrian regime, russia and turkey, they have one conversion of interest which is they want a kurdish state, a kurdish autonomy in the north of syria. they want to prevent it, they do not want it to flourish. this is the main convergence of interests and i think this is the reason the turks are subscribed to this because they needy russians and they needy syrian regime to prevent this from happening. here is the interesting point -- they say terrorist groups can still be attacked and bombed by either party. the definition of terrorism is different on each side because the turks explicitly say the so-called pkk affiliate in the north of syria is a terrorist organization. this group is one of the few militarily successful groups on the ground that has created some kind of autonomy and the turks need the syrian regime to fight this group. i'm very curious to see if the turks are going to continue bombing this group and what is going to be the international reaction.
christopher: daniel, assuming the cease-fire sticks, assuming some kind of political resolution, as you mentioned, comes through this process, are we seeing the emergence of a new order in the middle east with the u.s. sidelined, very prominently sidelined, and russia gaining influence? daniel: yeah, i can see that. i think the way the russians look at the entire region is they want to create a zone of influence. they believe in zones of influence. they have seen a vacuum in the middle east and they are moving in. talking about sidelining the united states, of the united states has been involved they have also made it clear that they do not want to be a conflict party. just because russia is the patron of fear in the syrian regime does not mean the united states has to be the patron of everybody else. united states is voluntarily being sidelined. the nature of the u.s. elections and the fact that president obama is in a lame-duck phase and a new president is coming in
on the 20th of january, it immobilizes the united states in a think it is legitimate to keep the united states out of this process. christopher: daniel from zenith magazine, thank you for talking with us. daniel: thank you for having me. christopher: to germany, where the investigation into last week's berlin truck attack is coming under intense scrutiny. german media say dr. officials knew that the prime spinet -- say that counterterrorism officials knew that anis amri -- they judged he was unlikely to commit an act of terror. meanwhile, police have released the suspect they arrested yesterday due to a lack of evidence that he was linked to the attack. reporter: over a week after the christmas market massacre, german authorities seem no closer to finding out if anis amri had any accomplices. >> the man who was taken into custody yesterday, a 40-year-old tunisian man, has been released.
he was arrested yesterday and it was suspected that before the attack, anis amri had sent him a voice message and photograph via a messaging program. further investigation, however, has established that the person who had been arrested is not a possible contact of anis amri. reporter: he is the second person to be released from custody, believed to have no collection to the alleged attacker. 24-year-old amri was detected and shot by police in italy after fleeing germany through several european countries. >> there was a train ticket from france to milan in italy found on anis amri. there was also a sim card on him.
these kind of sim cards were given out for free in the netherlands in the lead up to christmas. that is why we believe he could have traveled through there as well. reporter: as the investigation continues, critics are asking how german security officials handled a known suspect. he had been on their radar, but anti-terror experts only considered an attack from him possible, but unlikely. and after the attack, police arrested the wrong man, allowing amri to flee. now another suspect has been released. it is the latest twist in what is germany's most controversial investigation. christopher: you're watching dw news in berlin. still to come, the rosy future of solar energy. a new report from the world economic forum says the the cost of solar panels has plunged. it is on par with the cost of energy from fossil fuels.
♪ christopher: welcome back. our top story, the syrian government has agreed to a general cease-fire with main rebel groups. the cease-fire due to go into effect at midnight with both russia and turkey acting as guarantors. the cease-fire will then pay the way for peace talks aimed at ending the almost six year-long conflict. russian officials say they do not think an explosion caused a military plane to crashinto the black sea earlier this week,
killing all 92 people on board. investigators say they have not ruled out terrorism yet, but human error or technical malfunction are more likely causes. an analysis of the flight recorder indicated a problem with the wing flaps. the crash was considered a national tragedy in russia. on board, a famous russian band. going to take you to britain now. it's iconic bright red public phone boxes, they were once a familiar sight in just about every town and city but they have become increasingly rare. one of those phone boxes has survived in the heart of london and it is now being put to good use by you a young entre -- by a young entrepreneur. reporter: even icons grow old overtime and nothing is forever. the red telephone booth, a symbol of britishness, is slowly becoming a relic of history.
but anyone who thinks it is going to disappear completely has forgotten about british creativity and ingenuity. omar runs a coffee stand. in this tiny box he makes his award-winning coffee. to go, of course. >> they love the idea. lots of pictures taken. they also get the coffee. the weekdays, local people, they love my coffee. reporter: he pays about 350 euros a month in rent. he makes good money with his business and helps to keep a symbol of london on the streets. >> the phone box, and the bus. without them, london -- it is a shame. reporter: his landlord realized early on that mobile phones would eventually make the country's 11,000 red boxes redundant.
he began buying them up for the symbolic price of one pound each, and now he modifies them. >> the menus we found is retail, coffee, souvenirs, and most recently mobile phone repairs. reporter: one of the company's most popular models is the beach hotdog stand. his company plan to restore at least at least 1000 telephone boxes. while the rest are destined for a more artistic future. christopher: very creative solutions. as i was telling you earlier, the cost of solar panels just keeps on plunging. all the latest business news now. >> thank you. at last we have reached a tipping point. renewable energy now costs the same or even cheaper than fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.
that is according to a new report by the world economic forum. let's focus on solar panel, which is having most dramatic change. 10 years ago it would cost a massive $600 to produce just one megawatt hour of power from solar panels. compare that to $100 for coal and gas. today, so it costs about the same as fossil fuels, a massive improvement in a huge incentive for investors. that is thanks to the tumbling costs of solar panels. falling 80% since 2009. the more are made, the cheaper they get. there is still plenty to do. the paris climate agreement aims for $1 trillion in global renewable investments. last year they hit just $286 billion, nowhere near enough. earlier i spoke to one of the authors of this report about the challenges that remain, keeping
in mind that trump is taking office next year. he said he is dead against doing anything to promote renewable energy. >> we think it is wise not to comment on existing politics and we think the forces of economics will simply drive the change forward. five years ago, solar in particular was very, very dependent on all see maker actions and subsidies. now it is really an economic thing that stands by itself. well certain political parties might still have ideas about these things, the economics will speak for themselves. >> the global investors are still radically low compared to what was agreed upon in the paris summit. why is that? >> is partly because the economic cases only changed, as you just described, so recently.
investors are quite rightly conservative people. given that the economic viability has only been for maybe two years, they are still grappling with how to invest, how to be successful in making investments in renewables. and looking for ways to mitigate risks, which is why we have done this research at the economic forum to help them understand it better. >> if you look at the globe you name any country or any part of the world where you can say they are the transition, and it works much better? why is that? >> you could look obviously at some sources of renewable energy. it also helps when you do not have a legacy grid, which by its nature was set up and centralized, whereas renewable is decentralized. you see a lot of activity in
africa, a lot of activity in latin america. and you see a lot and china were obviously pollution is a big concern. you have the advantage of a government that can come in very heavily with investments that then trap other outside investors. >> thank you so much for your analysis on renewable energies and how they may develop with or without donald trump. thank you. staying with renewables, europeans are used to seeing this -- wind turbines -- everywhere. europe has over 11 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, but while here it is normal, americans are just starting out. united states first ever offshore wind farm. >> it is awesome, isn't it? it is spectacular. it is the first of its kind in
the u.s. reporter: 24 kilometers of the northeast coast of america, these turbines will make enough energy to power 17,000 homes, and a nearby islands is a beneficiary. energy prices here are 40% of g the company building the wind farm. businesses on the island, like this hotel, will no longer have to pay a premium to ship in oil or gas. >> are built last year was somehow around $200,000. it is a major factor here. reporter: he is ceo of deepwater wind. at $219 million, it is extraordinarily expensive. but for jeff m a this is the first of many. >> producing a lot of land for the united states, particularly here on the east coast and the northeast with the wind is very strong. reporter: while america still
lags behind europe in the renewable energy stakes, the wind of change is starting to pick up here, too. >> not much wind of change behind me because the opening of berlin's new airport has now been delayed once again until the spring of 2018. that was confirmed by the ceo. the new airport has been under construction since 2006. the grand opening was planned for the summer of 2012 but then abruptly canceled due to construction problems. the costs continue to skyrocket. even before it is opened, the airport will have to be expanded to cope with today's high passenger numbers. that is your business update. now back to christopher with some sad news. christopher: just today after the death of actress and writer carrie fisher, her mother, hollywood legend debbie reynolds , has also passed away. the 84-year-old actress shot to
fame at an early age going on to star in a series of hollywood comedies and musicals. >> ♪ good morning ♪ reporter: it was the role that catapulted her to stardom. with hardly any dance experience , debbie reynolds was just 19 which was cast opposite gene kelly and "singin' in the rain." after a string of hollywood musicals coming rentals earned an oscar nomination for her 1964 role in "the unsinkable molly brown." fans came out to hollywood's walk of fame to pay their respects after the news broke of her death. reynolds passed away just one day after losing her daughter, carrie fisher, best known as princess leia in "star wars." >> i think it made a caused her to be so distraught that maybe it brought on a stroke. >> it is just unbelievable. this is the worst year for hollywood i can imagine. reporter: according to reports,
debbie reynolds was with her son when she suffered a stroke. she was 84 years old. christopher: a quick reminder of our cap stories. the obama administration has slapped sanctions on pressure over the alleged hacking scandal during the u.s. presidential election. the u.s. plans to expel 35 diplomats and close two russian own compounds. obama warning moscow that such activities have consequences. you're watching dw news in berlin. more from us at the top of the hour. stay with us. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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